Two more short-story collection recommendations:
"Sightseeing" by Rattawut Lapcharoensap. The title story of this debut collection gives us a son taking his soon-to-be-blind mother on a trip to see an island she's never seen before; in Farangs, a young boy who has lost in the game of love watches his pet pig slip in the ocean to escape a group of bullies; in Draft Day, a boy engages in the politics of draft day to possibly lose the closest friend he has; in Priscilla the Cambodian, a boy befriends a refugee with gold teeth while the elders in the town try to run all the refugees off; in the end novella, a father nearly loses everything as he tries to battle against the town bully.
My favorite of the group is Don't Let Me Die in This Place. An older man has a stroke and
ends up living with his son and daughter-in-law in Thailand. Not only does he have to endure being treated like a baby, but he's brought around to see the sights and the endless temples in which he has no interest. The story shines when he is taken to an amusement park and he asks to drive one of the bumper cars. Hilarious.
Another excellent collection I just finished is "This is a Voice From Your Past," by Merrill Joan Gerber. Thirteen stories, some connected, some not, all about women dealing with small and large issues: suicide, death, fear, annoying neighbors, relationships that don't quite work, and nasty in-laws. Wonderful, rich characters and surprising details make this collection stand out.
- Originally from Vermont, I now live in North Carolina. My work can be found in recent issues of REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, and Pank, among others, and forthcoming from Gargoyle #57 and REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. For two years I worked as an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. Currently, I serve as a mentor for Dzanc's Creative Writing Sessions. I'm working on two novels and a short story collection. In May, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the 2011 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.